I'm in the Kitchen

Welcome to Madre's Kitchen! I am so glad you visited my blog about cooking and all things healthy. I am a cook, not a chef. One of my hearts desires is to hit the road when disaster strikes and feed people a home cooked meal. First, however, I need a portable kitchen! Home cooked relief can bring healing on many levels. Since my breast cancer, food awareness has helped me to discover and apply a more healthy lifestyle for myself. It has taught me to promote better healing and health through treatments. I will be sharing that information here too. Thank you for visiting and enjoy!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Flavor Blending

I have been amazed how my tastebuds have changed since cancer.  Real sugary things really don't have an appeal. More plant based diet, which is better anyway for me, has become the norm.  I have a beautiful big garden that I love to pull from every day.  I try and eat green mostly and things that I know where they came from.  I harvest eggs from my chickens and buy meats from local butcher insuring the freshness and organic origins.  Wild game has become more present on my plate and less meats and more fish.  Here is a small quick lunch I fixed with left overs.  Not necessarily that green, but really fresh.
I hope you will enjoy.

Roasted Corn and Chicken Salad

Cut roasted corn left over from the night before in long strips if you can and lay them on the plates.
Add slices of roasted chicken, this one from the grocery, you can cook in oven or on grill.
Sprinkle blueberries and goat or feta cheese.
Take a melon baller and add some watermelon balls.
The key is this Red Plum Balsamic Finishing Vinegar from La Barre.  Others say you can't find it in America so my sweet friend from Australia brings me some with pink Himalayan salt flakes.  A nice touch instead of salad dressing.

I was amazed at how these flavors blended.  I have never eaten them together before.  When I am cooking and thinking about what to add, its as if the taste jumps into my mouth first to tell me what to add.  Does that sound weird?    This was delightful, light and refreshing as a snack, small lunch or full meal.  I loved it and hope you will too.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Leftovers and Cornbread Dessert

H.E.Butt Foundation Camp, Leakey, Texas, Echo Valley

I love Sundays.  It usually means the fridge gets cleaned out.  Combining ingredients, adding a few new ingredients creating a one bowl meal is my kinda good.
In this post I combine veggie pasta with homemade tomato sauce and ground beef we made for my grand baby with my okra and tomato combo.  Simply adding fresh dried herbs, more hamburger and leftover steak, a few more tomatoes and a little lemon juice for steam I created a yummy Goulash.
Yes that is right I just called it Goulash. 

I started with sautéing the hamburger we needed to use up and added the leftover steak pieces.

Once browned I took the bowls of leftover pasta and okra mix and put them into skillet. Notice the cornbread cut into squares.

Then I lowered the heat, added lemon juice and more fresh tomatoes.

Notice the Love, God Photo

I covered and let it simmer.  At the very end I added some dried herbs, let steam, then stirred them in.

See the cornbread sautéing in the butta! O my.

Your table too can be real simple, accessible, and easy to clean up.  Here using jars for big glasses of sun tea for the thirsty man, more in an aluminum pitcher and pickle jar standing by.  I used my Beyond Her dish towels as my napkins, oversized, soft and good coverage in the lap.  

This is when things got seriously serious......
My daughter and husband and my grand baby came to visit.  My SIL said, "Madre you need to sell your cornbread on a stick". And I chimed in with, "and deep fry it right"?  Then I spoke to my nephew today, who is a big advertising guy, who said I should try and do a corn dog with my batter.....
So with all this cornbread creativity twirling in my mind I thought I would try this.

There is nothing really healthy about this recipe.......incredibly savory and rich.  

I took my leftover cornbread cold from the fridge, browned 2 Tbsp of butta, and heated up my cold cornbread.  My cornbread recipe is here....
I flipped it all around and soaked all sides and edges 2-5 mins tops on med/high head
Then I turned off the heat and just let it sit there.....til the rest of the meal was ready and until William came home for lunch....ie about 20 minutes.
Then I topped it with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla. Then I had the audacity to mention you could even drizzle carmel over it or lemon juice on the ice cream like they do in Mexico.
Never in a million years would I think cornbread and ice cream would match, but
Thank you for coming over for a read.  Hoping to hit the road with some of my recipes whenever I get an Airstream outfitted with pro kitchen, and a Big Green Egg.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fridge Pickled Okra

Almost every day I post my "Today's Haul"  We have not had to buy tomatoes or okra all summer.

 We love pickles.  We love pickled okra too.  With the abundance of okra this summer and plants that look like small trees I am excited to try this recipe on pickling okra in the refrigerator rather than by canning on the stove.  The only difference is this recipe doesn't last as long as the vacuum sealed ones, but that's ok cause we eat them so fast.  I typed into Bing "How to pickle okra" and discovered a recipe for how to do it cold and in the refrigerator.  It was not that hard.  Here is the sequence on how I did it.

As you can see there is an abundance this year for us in the okra and tomato department.  We pick fruit every day and most days end up giving away some to neighbors and friends.

My friends laugh and say I might become the next Mrs. HEB as she went door to door selling her garden harvest right here in Kerrville, TX.

So I decided to try my hand at canning and pickling.  We had bought a canning pot and jars last summer but did not get the yield we are getting this summer between the two gardens.  Rain praise God  is the difference.   The chili pecanias in this bowl at the bottom of this photo is one days harvest.  They are so hot I can't eat them and have not cooked much with them.  I give them away mostly.  I love the color they bring to the garden.

So I washed all my okra and let it dry on a cotton dish towel, got out all my spice ingredients and my secret ingredient I was given that came all the way from Australia.  I used 1/2tsp each of dill seed, mustard seed, celery seed, organic fennel, Himalayan pink salt, cracked pepper, my herbs de Frio combination, two cloves of garlic peeled and La Barre's caramelized balsamic vinegar.

Then I cut off the excess stems and got them ready for the jars.  Since I did not sanitized the jars in my dishwasher, I sanitized them in boiling water for 4 mins then took them out and let them stand to dry.  I used 16oz of Heinz's pickle perfect vinegar all the spices mentioned above in a brine.  I let that come to a boil and simmer for 4 mins then let it stand.  I loaded the jars with the freshness from the garden.
I basically laid the jar on its side and rotated it as I loaded the okra then just filled in with what I could.

Then I poured the brine into the okra filled jars and let the liquid settle.  Then kept adding till it was full with about 1/4 inch space ....I scooped out the spices and put into jars including the garlic.  I did not boil the chili.  I added it at the end before closing the lid.......I kept having to push the okra back down as I waited for it to cool with the lid off.  I just pushed them back down as they shrank and found their places in the jar.  This one will be the spicy one with the chili pecania's.  I have one that is mild without the chili pepper.  I waited for the liquid to cool, put the lids on tight and put in the fridge.  I could start eating them they said within 24 hours, but it could take up to a week for the vinegar to absorb.  I turn them upside down ever so often and will wait til next Friday to taste.  I will let you know how they turned out.

So whether it is for you or your neighbor sharing our abundance is great.  Enjoy!